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Re: Bug#687001: ITP: optional-dev -- fake (empty) dev package

On Sat, 8 Sep 2012 19:37:33 Holger Levsen wrote:
> "optional depends" - what?? Thats self contradictory. If a depends it's
> really optional, it's not a depends, thus that package is buggy and should
> not be fixed by introducing a nonsense package, but by removing this
> depends.

Not at all, it may appears "self contradictory" only because debian/control 
"language" doesn't have a right term for it. Or perhaps my wording is not 
perfect. If you got the idea, can you suggest a better word?

Imagine a software that builds without a certain -dev package. When present 
this package may be used to activate an additional (optional) feature.

When building for as many architectures as we have, situation when some 
dependencies are missing (or can't exist) on some architectures is not rare.

However we still want to build our packages with all features possible.

So here are two ideas -- one is to clearly see which build-dependencies are 
optional i.e. which packages are not critical for successful build;
and another is to nicely and easily handle unsatisfiable non-critical 

The latter will make maintenance easier and may also be helpful for 
backporting or even for distributions who borrow our packages but may not have 
all their build-dependencies.


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